Time To Go Back To Work?

Dear Sara,

I have two children, one in second grade and the other in third grade. They are good kids who don’t give me any trouble. I’m active in their school and like to volunteer so I can help out. My husband thinks that now that the kids are in school I should go back to work since I was fairly successful in my job before I retired to have my kids. We are doing fairly well on one income so I really don’t see the need. He keeps saying I’m not pulling my weight. How can I make him see that I am pulling my weight by taking care of our kids?
-Laurel




Dear Laurel,

There may not be any way to convince your husband to change his mind. You seem to be enjoying motherhood so you can tune him out and be the Mom you want to be. Your kids will be better off for this. One thing you may need to think about is future job prospects. The longer you are out of circulation the more difficult it will be to get a job. You may lose contacts and opportunities. If you could do some part-time work you could keep your hand in until your kids got to the point where they are less dependent on you. This might be a compromise that your husband could live with.
-Sara

Playing Too Many Video Games

Dear Sara,

My eighteen-year-old son does nothing but play video games. He finally made it through high school but just barely and is not interested in anything but his video games. I don’t know how to deal with this. He refuses to look for work and stays in his room. He is getting to the point of being obese. What can I do with him to make him get a job and be more responsible?
-Shelby




Dear Shelby,

The first thing you need to do is stop enabling him. He has gotten to be obese because you are providing him with food. It will be strong medicine but you could lock the refrigerator and cabinets so he won’t be able to eat whatever he wants. Let him know that he has freeloaded enough and that his room won’t be available much longer. You might think that he will hate you for this but if you wait much longer he will be so obese that he won’t have any choices left in his life. You are the only one who can save your son. It’s called tough love.

Good luck.
-Sara

Moving On After The Death Of A Spouse

Dear Sara,

My husband was in the military and lost his life for his country four years ago. We have two girls who are now in grade school. They seem to be doing OK and are doing well in school and have friends. I’m not doing very well though. I’ve gained about twenty-five pounds and don’t feel any great interest in anything. I go to my job, do my work, come home to cook dinner and do laundry. I help the girls with their homework and watch TV. My life is dull and uninteresting. What can I do to change things?
-Elizabeth




Dear Elizabeth,

It sounds like you might be depressed, which may be normal in your circumstance. Maybe you could add some things to your life to make it more interesting. There are probably things in your past life that you have enjoyed doing that you might like to try again. Think about what you want and make yourself try something that you would enjoy. Your life won’t change if you just sit there. You might wont to see your family physician and tell him about your feelings of depression. Maybe there is a medication that can help. Exercise is often helpful to combat depression and with a change in diet could help you lose some of that extra weight. Take care of yourself.
-Sara

My Ten-Year-Old Is Stealing

Dear Sara,

My ten-year-old son has been stealing. I am finding things in his room that he could not possibly buy on his own. I found things under his bed when I was cleaning and looked further and found more. I haven’t confronted him yet or told his father because I think he would be furious. These are mostly electronic things and I don’t know where they came from. This is so out of character for my son that I wouldn’t have believed it if someone else had told me. How should I handle it?
-Molly




Dear Molly,

If your son has been stealing, he will eventually get caught and his father would be more than furious. You need to confide in your husband and talk to your son as soon as possible. He needs to return what he can and apologize at the store he stole from. If he has to go through this process he may learn a lesson. He should also have some sort of consequence at home, like doing extra chores or if he gets an allowance being made to donate it to a worthy cause. If he learns a lesson from this it will be to his benefit. If he tries to steal again, he may need to talk to a professional who deals with this sort of problem.
-Sara

Drinking Problems At 18

Dear Sara,

My eighteen-year-old son came home drunk last night. He’s graduated from high school and still lives at home. I wanted him to go to college but he’s not interested. He’s had several part-time jobs but doesn’t last long at them. His father drinks enough that I suspect he’s an alcoholic so he doesn’t care if his son drinks. He says it’s normal for kids to sew some wild oats before they settle down. I really don’t want my son to drink like that but I don’t know how to deal with it. Any suggestions?
-Nicole




Dear Nicole,

If your husband isn’t in your corner, you could be fighting a losing battle. It’s your house and you could tell your son he has to leave if he continues to come home drunk but if your husband doesn’t back you up it won’t do you any good to issue an ultimatum. Talk to your son and let him know how you feel. Ask him to try to at least control his drinking. If he’s driving drunk he could get into trouble with the law or hurt someone. Kids have a way of thinking because of their lack of experience they assume that nothing bad will happen. I hope you can get through to him.
-Sara

Overactive Child

Dear Sara,

I am in my second year of teaching. My first year everything went really well. I am teaching second grade and I have a little boy in my class who is into everything, can’t sit still and seems to crave my attention. He is a really cute little boy and I like him but I can’t spend all of my time with him. I have talked to his parents and they say he’s a handful at home as well. I suggested that he might have attention deficit disorder and maybe some meds would help. They insisted that he’s a normal little boy and he will outgrow this tendency to be hyperactive. What can I do to calm this kid down?
-Ada




Dear Ada,

It sounds like teaching can have its’ challenges. You could try ignoring his bad behavior as much as possible and give him great praise when you catch him being good. If he wants your attention then he will have to earn it by being a better boy. If his parents choose not to medicate him then you just have to deal with his behavior the best you can.
-Sara

Taking Out A Loan

Dear Sara,

My wife and I are just a normal hardworking American family. We earn just about enough to meet our needs and put away a little for retirement. Our daughter has started a business that she seems to think is doing well. She hasn’t established any credit yet and wants us to cosign a loan so she can expand her business. She is arguing that she is doing great with her business and this will be very little risk for us. I know that if she can’t make enough money to pay her payments I will be responsible and I don’t think I can afford it. She thinks that if I really care about her I would do this. Is this a good idea or not?
-Frank




Dear Frank,

It sounds like that you have already determined that this is not a good idea. Your daughter seems to be using emotional blackmail to get you to do this (if you really care about me.) You have worked hard to stabilize your family and if you do this for her you will put yourself in a precarious position. Maybe your daughter should wait a while to enlarge her business and establish her own credit first. She may be mad at you for a while but she will get over it.

Good luck.
-Sara


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate and enjoy all of your comments. Even when you disagree or criticize. I can learn from all of you. I am especially grateful to Marley and her friends who help me out year round. I hope you all have a great Christmas and a New Year with lots of Blessings.
-Sara

Wanting To Dress To Impress

Dear Sara,

I am sixteen years old and I have been invited to a party at my friend’s house. They have a lot of money and a big house. My parents love me and want me to be happy but they barely get by from month to month. I really don’t have anything to wear to this party. All my friends are going and I want to go too but I feel like I would be the only one there without flashy clothes. What should I do?
-Molly




Dear Molly,

Teens seem to be into high dollar jeans and think labels are important but the most important thing is your personality. If your hair is clean and shiny and you have on a pretty pair of earrings and your personality sparkles, no one will notice what you are wearing. If you want to fit in, be kind to your friends and be willing to listen if they have a problem. They probably know your circumstances and really don’t care.
-Sara

Feeling Ignored With A New Baby

Dear Sara,

My wife and I have been married ten years and have just had our first baby. We waited because we wanted to but a house and we both had to work to do this. We really looked forward to the baby and my wife is thrilled with our new son. She is so enamored with our baby that she totally ignores me. We don’t go out any more because she won’t leave the baby with a sitter. When I come home from work she goes immediately to the baby and picks him up and tells him how wonderful we think he is. I love our baby but this is really getting old. How can I get my wife back?
-Dylan




Dear Dylan,

Your wife’s behavior will eventually return to normal. She is really excited to have a new baby after all this time especially a son. I realize that you are used to having your wife to yourself and that you would like to have your attention on you again. This will take some time so try to be patient. Join her in her admiration for your baby and make this part of your routine. As your son grows your wife will return to normal. A son needs a father’s attention as well so be there for him. Let your wife know how you feel. Don’t just stand back and be alone.
-Sara